UConn women’s college basketball coach Geno Auriemma took a moment today to talk about men’s college basketball. To be more specific, he thinks it’s a boring, backwards sport.
Auriemma gave his thoughts in a media conference call for the Final Four, after he was asked about the state of men’s college basketball. The coach acknowledged that the tournament was a huge event, but the current regular season was forgettable. Auriemma believes every sport works towards making its offense entertaining and men’s basketball, with its 35-second shot clock—women’s basketball has a 30-second shot clock—isn’t budging.
Via ASAP Sports:
Having said that, I think the game is a joke. It really is. I don’t coach it. I don’t play it, so I don’t understand all the ins and outs of it. But as a spectator, forget that I’m a coach, as a spectator, watching it, it’s a joke. There’s only like ten teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you’d like to watch. Every coach will tell you that there’s 90 million reasons for it. And the bottom line is that nobody can score, and they’ll tell you it’s because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of team work, nonsense, nonsense. College men’s basketball is so far behind the times it’s unbelievable. I mean women’s basketball is behind the times. Men’s basketball is even further behind the times. Every other major sport in the world has taken steps to help people be better on the offensive end of the floor. They’ve moved in the fences in baseball, they lowered the mound. They made the strike zone so you need a straw to put through it. And in the NFL you touch a guy it’s a penalty. You hit the quarterback, you’re out for life. You know, in the NBA, you touch somebody in the perimeter, you whack guys like they used to do when scores were 90 to 75, they changed the rules. This is entertainment we’re talking about. People have to decide, do I want to play 25 bucks, 30 bucks to go see a college scrum where everybody misses six out of every ten shots they take, or do I want to go to a movie? We’re fighting for the entertainment dollar, here, and I have to tell you it’s not entertainment from a fan’s standpoint. So that’s just‑‑ I’m talking as a fan, not as Geno, Auriemma, the basketball coach.
This anecdote is only vaguely related, but worth dropping here: Auriemma once emailed a men’s basketball fan who said his sport “isn’t shit” to say, “Where do you live? I’m coming to your house to see what you do that’s so fucking great.”